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Hunty’s Column: Christmas Reflections

Our resident columnist returns bearing festive cheer and Reading-related talking points.

Reading v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

It’s been a while since I last did a column - apologies for that but I'm back! I made my first game of the season against Cardiff last week and, for me, it summed up our season so far. It was just so bloody frustrating.

In patches, we have certainly shown what we can do. We had the five game unbeaten run, but then came the Ipswich match, a repeat of so many others we’ve seen before. As always, there was lots of possession but poor defending and little end product.

It was nice for us to have a settled team for a while, but hey ho.

Christmas is supposed to be the time of good will to all, but it’s also when there are lots of arguments. There are a few doing the rounds in the Reading fan base at the moment. For example, Stam is set in his ways and his substitutions sometimes don't make much sense.

Has the signing of a number of players on new long term contracts meant they are now in the comfort zone? For me, we got lucky In a poor league last season, but the players we have at the moment should still be performing better. How many times have we said that over past five years?

Also, the fans don't create the atmosphere to help the team perform, but why is that? I think the supporters aren’t turning up for games due to the way we play, which the team also seems to be bored of.

The manager himself apparently doesn’t rate, or doesn’t trust, some in his squad like Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Adrian Popa who have made only five and three starts this season respectively.

Reading v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Play Off: Second Leg Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Instead, for some reason he favours the likes of Tyler Blackett who returned on Saturday instead of Omar Richards who is yet to start a game since a great performance up at Derby.

There are plenty more questions for Reading fans to be considering too. Who has the final say over new signings? Are some of them out of Stam’s hands? Why are so many players getting injured - is it because our training is too intense? I’m sure there’s a lot more for you to mull over whilst you gobble down your Christmas turkey.

The way we’re going, I reckon that we’ll end up somewhere in mid-table. Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong and we’ll make a surge into the play-offs, but whatever happens it’s certainly been an eventful year for a Reading fan.

I had the privilege of travelling over for the Cardiff game and sharing a beer or two with some great fans. Plus, the players are always friendly and stop for photos and autographs with this 40-something Peter Pan!

On a last note, thank you, you’re all awesome! I hope you and and your loved ones have a fantastic Christmas and New Year! Enjoy the festive footy and be lucky.


PS, don't mention the Ashes.